FDA Panel: Avastin NOT Effective For Breast Cancer - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FDA Panel: Avastin NOT Effective For Breast Cancer

WASHINGTON - A panel of cancer experts has ruled for a second time that Avastin, the best-selling cancer drug in the world, should no longer be used in breast cancer patients, clearing the way for the U.S. government to remove its endorsement from the drug.

The unprecedented vote Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel comes less than a year after the same panel reached the same conclusion.

In three unanimous votes, the six members of the FDA oncology drug panel voted that Avastin is ineffective, unsafe and should have its approval for breast cancer withdrawn.

"I think we all wanted Avastin to succeed but the reality is that these studies did not bear out that hope," said Natalie Compagni-Portis, the lone patient representative on the FDA panel

The vote is not binding and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg will make the final decision. The drug is approved for multiple cancers and will still be available for breast cancer, though most insurers are expected to drop coverage if it loses FDA approval

The FDA began steps to remove Avastin's breast cancer approval in December, but Swiss drug maker Roche took the rare step of appealing that decision and lobbied the agency and Congress for a second hearing.

The dramatic, contentious tone of the two-day hearing underscored the difficulty of removing an option for cancer patients, even when backed by scientific evidence. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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